Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was today endorsed for a second five-year term by the country’s rubber-stamp parliament after he was nominated by President Xi Jinping. Li, 63, a second ranking leader in the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), has completed the first five-year tenure along with Xi who is now regarded as the “core” leader of the party placed along with party founder Mao Zedong.
Xi, 64, was yesterday re-elected unanimously by 2970 deputies of the National People’s Congress (NPC), days after it ratified constitutional amendment to remove the decades old two-term limit for the president and vice president posts. Xi was also re-elected as the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) which is the overall high command of the two million strong Chinese military. He heads all powerful organs of power the CPC, the military and the Presidency.
Li, who maintained a low profile under Xi mainly looking after economy, was endorsed as premier for his second tenure. But significantly he was nominated by Xi, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Other officials who got elected included was Yang Xiaodu director of the national supervisory commission, a newly formed anti-corruption body with statuary powers.
Xu Qiliang and Zhang Youxia were elected as vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission (CMC) headed by Xi. The NPC which has approved a complete overhaul of the Chinese government is also expected to nominate a host of new officials including a new foreign minister and governor of the central bank, the People’s Bank of China. The NPC deputies also elected president of the Supreme People’s Court, procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and members of the 13th NPC Standing Committee.